US oil output expected to exceed record earlier than expected

Reuters:
U.S. crude oil production is expected to surpass 10 million barrels per day (bpd) next month, en route to an all-time record months ahead of previous forecasts, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Tuesday.

Production was expected to rise to an average 10.04 million bpd during the first quarter of this year, the agency said in a monthly report. The 10 million-bpd milestone previously had not been expected to be reached until the fourth quarter.

That would match the all-time monthly record of 10.04 million bpd set in Nov. 1970; oil production declined after that as the United States increasingly relied on imported crude. That has changed in the last several years due to the shale revolution, but these projections surpass earlier expectations.

The monthly average for February is expected to surpass 10 million bpd, said Tim Hess, the lead analyst for the report. That will be the first time production has reached that level since 1970.

Only Russia and Saudi Arabia have produced more crude, hitting peak output of over 11 million bpd and about 10.7 million bpd respectively in recent years.

The EIA revised its production growth forecast for 2018 sharply higher to 970,000 bpd from 780,000 bpd in its previous outlook.

U.S. output will continue to rise in 2019, surpassing 11 million bpd by the end of that year, the EIA report said. The average production in 2019 will rise 580,000 bpd to 10.85 million bpd, the agency said in its first outlook for next year.
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Much of this increase is coming from the Texas Permian Basin.  The US is exporting oil again, most of which is light crude.  If US refineries were more geared toward light crude the country could become energy independent in a short period of time.  Because a lot of the imported oil was heavy crude in teh past the refineries were designed for that type of oil.  There have been few refineries that have said they were working on making the switch, although Exxon has announced that it is building a facility for light crude and several small refineries are doing so.

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